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Fri, Jul 29, 2005 6:17 pm

Bash Tips

I normally use the bash shell on Unix and Linux systems. A shell is the user interface to the system. The shell on Unix and Linux systems gives you the type of interface you get with a command prompt on Windows systems. On older versions of Windows you would be issuing DOS commands at the command prompt. As you have batch files with DOS, with Unix and Linux shells you can create scripts to automate your work, though you normally get a much richer set of commands than with DOS.

Prior to the development of the bash shell there was a Bourne shell and the name Bourne Again Shell (bash) comes from the name of that prior shell. The bash shell was created by Brian Fox in 1988. He continued to work on it until 1993. Chet Ramey joined Brian in the development of bash in 1989 and Chet continued the work on bash after Brian ceased his development efforts on bash.

I've posted a few bash tips in Bash Tips

[/os/unix/bash] permanent link

Mon, Jul 25, 2005 10:44 pm

Blosxom Calendar Plugin Bug

I use Blosxom for my blog and the Blosxom Calendar Plugin to add a calendar to the blog. I installed version 0.6i of the plugin on August 30, 2004. Today, I noticed that if I click on the path link at the bottom of an entry where the path has a directory as part of the path with a name beginning with a number, clicking on that link generates the internal server error shown below.

Server error!

    The server encountered an internal error and was 
    unable to complete your request.

    Error message:
    Premature end of script headers: blosxom

If you think this is a server error, please contact
the webmaster

Error 500

When I looked in the site's error log, I found the following.

[Mon Jul 25 19:18:21 2005] [error] [client] Cannot handle date (0, 0, 0, 1, 11, 2800) at /support/blog/plugins/calendar line 214, referer:

When I checked line 214 in the calendar plugin I saw the following.

$monthstart = timelocal(0,0,0,1,$month-1,$year-1900);

The problem appears to be triggered whenever there is a directory with the directory name starting with a number in part of the path. I had a directory with /pc/hardware/dell/4700 as part of the path. I renamed the 4700 directory to d4700 and the problem went away. I changed it to 4700d and the problem reoccurred. I changed it to 3800 and the problem remained. Since I didn't have time to carefully examine the code in the calendar plugin, I finally just changed the directory to dimension_4700 and left it at that.

I thought there might be a later version of the plug-in at the developer's website, but the 0.6i version is the one still posted there.

[/network/web/blogging/blosxom] permanent link

Mon, Jul 25, 2005 8:50 pm

ht://Dig Setup

I installed ht://Dig because I thought I had placed certain information on my website, which I waned to refer to again, but couldn't locate it. I have a search tool for the blog, but that will only search the blog's content. Since I couldn't find the information with that tool, I thought I might have placed the information in a file or files that weren't part of the blog's entries. So I installed htdig and used it to search the entire site. I still couldn't find the information, though I can recall creating a webpage with the information.

Oh well, I'll just have to keep looking or figure out how to do what I need to do again. One of the reasons I created the blog was to serve as a reference when my memory fails me on how I resolved a problem in the past. But, if I didn't post the information here, it's going to take me much longer to locate it or figure out again the steps I took previously.

So I won't have that problem with installing htdig again, I've posted my notes in the blog. Hopefully, it might help someone else as well in resolving problems or answering questions about setting it up so it can be used with multiple websites on the same server.

[ More Info ]

[/network/web/tools/search] permanent link

Mon, Jul 25, 2005 5:00 pm

Russia's Biggest Spammer Murdered

An article titled Russia.s Biggest Spammer Brutally Murdered in Apartment appeared in MosNews today. The article states that the man considered to be Russia's biggest spammer was found brutally murdered in his apartment on Sunday from repeated blows to the head.

Vardan Kushnir, 35, headed the Center for American English, the New York Engish Centre, and the Centre for Spoken English, which sent millions of email messages every day.

According to the article, under Russian law spamming is not illegal, but Russian lawmakers are working on anti-spam measures.

[/network/email/spam] permanent link

Tue, Jul 19, 2005 11:19 pm

Outlook Address Book Could Not Be Displayed

A user reported that his address book could not be displayed in Outlook 2003. I composed a new message and tried to bring up the address book to put an address in the "To" field of the message. When I did so, I saw the message below:

The address list could not be displayed. The Contacts folder associated with this address list could not be opened; it may have been moved or deleted, or you do not have permissions. For information on how to remove this folder from the Outlook Address Book, see Microsoft Office Outlook Help.

But under "Show names from the", I could see his contact folders and even select "Contacts" and see all of the addresses in his main contacts folder. Microsoft has steps to correct the problem at;en-us;Q319901 in Article ID 319901 titled "The address list could not be displayed" error message when you use your Contacts to address a new message in Outlook. The article indicates the problem can be caused by a corrupted address book. The steps suggested in the article corrected the problem. I've listed the steps below:


To resolve this issue, remove and reinstall the Outlook Address Book. To do this:
  1. Start Outlook.
  2. On the Tools menu, click E-mail Accounts.
  3. Click View or change existing directories or address books, and then click Next.
  4. Click Outlook Address Book, and then click Remove.
  5. Click Yes when you receive the prompt to confirm the removal.
  6. Click Add.
  7. Click Additional Address Books, and then click Next.
  8. Click Outlook Address Book, and then click Next.
  9. Click OK when you receive the message to restart Outlook.
  10. Click Finish.
  11. Click Exit on the File menu to quit Outlook.
  12. Restart Outlook.
  13. In the Folder list, right-click the folder that you want to use with the Address Book (for example, right-click Contacts), and then click Properties.
  14. Click the Outlook Address Book tab.
  15. Click to select the Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book check box (if it is not already selected), and then click OK.

[/network/email/clients/outlook] permanent link

Wed, Jul 13, 2005 10:56 pm

Importing An Outlook Express Address Book into Outlook Express

If you need to import an Outlook Express address book into Outlook Express on another system or into the address book of another account on the same system, take the steps listed below.

Locating an Address Book

Locate the previous Outlook Express address book. It will be a .wab file (presumably this stands for "Windows Address Book"). You won't be able to locate it if the Windows Explorer is using the default folder settings, which don't allow you to view hidden and system files. You need to change those settings first, if you haven't previously done so, to display hidden and system files (instructions for viewing hidden and system files).

The address book, which will have a "wab" extension, will likely be under C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book, where "username" is the relevant user's userid, e.g. "JSmith".

If you are importing the address book into an account on the same system, you can proceed to the step of importing it into Outlook Express. Otherwise copy it to the other system. There may also be a file with an extension "wab~". That is a backup file, which you can ignore. If you want to view the entries in the address book, you can double-click on the file and look under "Main Identity's Contacts" for the list of addresses in the address book

Importing the Address Book

  1. Click on "Addresses" to open the address book.
  2. Click on "File" and select "Import" followed by "Address Book (WAB)".
  3. Browse to where the address book is stored, click on it to select it and then click on the "Open" button, which will import the addresses from that file. You should see "The import process completed successfully" when the operation is complete.

[/network/email/clients/outlook-express] permanent link

Fri, Jul 08, 2005 8:51 am

Starting and Stopping No-IP Service

If your system is connected to the Internet by a dynamic Internet Protocol (IP) address, but you need to be able to reach the system with a fixed name, you can use a dynamic Domain Name System (DNS) service, such as the one provided by You can install their dynamic update client on the system and it will report its IP address to No-Ip's DNS servers.

If the No-IP Dynamic Update Client (DUC) software on a system is not updating the IP address for the system with

No-IP's servers, you can start and stop the service from the command line (you may need to be logged into an account in the administrator group) by using the following commands:

net stop noipducservice
net start noipducservice

You can determine when a system last updated its address with No-Ip's servers by logging into your No-Ip account and under "Hosts/Redirects", click on "Manage". Locate the name of the system in question and click on "Modify" for it. You will see a "Last Update" for it.

[/network/dns] permanent link

Fri, Jul 01, 2005 9:10 pm


I run various sendmail log file processing scripts nightly to process the day's maillog file. At midnight, the maillog file in /var/log is rotated to /var/log/maillog.1. The log file processing scripts then analyze maillog.1 and produce reports based on its contents to allow me to track what is happening on the mail server. I added a Perl script, smlogstats, to the daily email log processing scripts.

The original smlogstats script is available from That script used a hardcoded output file. Since I want to maintain an archive of sendmail reports, I modified the script slightly to optionally allow the output file to be specified. The modified script has the following usage:

usage: [ -d ] [ -l logfile ] [ -o htmlfile] [ -t n ]

-d  print detail
-l  full path name to logfile (default /var/log/maillog)
-o  full path to the html output file (default stats.html)
-t  print top n addresses (default 10)

I use another script, smlogstats-log to produce a log file when it is run by cron every night at midnight. The script puts its output in /home/logfiles1/www/support/internal/logs/mail/smlogstats/$(date --date=yesterday +%Y)/$(date --date=yesterday +%m%d%y).html. The directory path includes a directory with the year specified, i.e. date --date=yesterday +%Y, followed by the file name, which is yesterdays date in mmddyy format followed by an extension of html.

Script -
Example output file- 063005.html

[/network/email/sendmail] permanent link

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